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J Neurol Sci. 1996 Jun;138(1-2):21-5.

The effects of prolonged treatment with citicoline in temporary experimental focal ischemia.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Medical Center of Central Massachusetts, Worcester 01605, USA.


Potential therapeutic effects of cytidine 5-diphosphocholine (citicoline), a key intermediary in the biosynthesis of the membrane phospholipid, phosphatidylcholine, are presumably related to enhanced phospholipid synthesis in the ischemic brain. We evaluated prolonged citicoline treatment in a temporary focal ischemia model. Using the suture occlusion model, we induced 2 hours of temporary ischemia in 30 Sprague-Dawley rats. The rats were randomly and blindly assigned to receive intraperitoneally 500 mg/kg citicoline (HD), 100 mg/kg citicoline (LD) or physiologic saline as the control group once daily for 7 days (n = 10 per group) beginning at the time of reperfusion. Neurological scoring (0-5 scale) was performed daily. After elective sacrifice on day 7, or earlier if death occurred prematurely, the brains underwent 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining for calculation of corrected infarct and edema volume. The mean corrected infarct volume in the HD group was 125 +/- 45.2 mm3 (mean +/- SD), significantly smaller than controls, 243.5 +/- 88.6 mm3 (p < 0.01, Scheffe's-test). The LD group infarct volume was 200.2 +/- 62.8 mm3 (N.S.). The mean amount of brain edema in the HD group was 46.4 +/- 45.6 mm3 was smaller than the controls, 92.3 +/- 54.4 mm3 and the LD group, 84.9 +/- 71.7 mm3 (N.S.). Mortality before day 7 in the HD was 30% while it was 50% in the two other groups. The neurologic score on day 7 was 2.5 +/- 1.8 in the HD group, 3.3 +/- 1.8 in the LD group and 3.4 +/- 1.7 in controls (N.S.). These results demonstrate that extended high dose citicoline treatment significantly reduced infarct volume in this temporary focal ischemia model and that there was a trend toward reducing brain edema and mortality. These effects may be related to membrane stabilization and inhibition of free fatty acid release.

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